Senior Counsel, Tony Astaphan has responded to statements made by General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang in which he criticized Prime Minister Skerrit for holding meetings with public officers.
Letang said at a press conference recently, that meetings held with public officers to discuss working conditions is the responsibility of the Establishment, Personnel and Training Department, not the prime minister.
Astaphan who is a legal adviser to the government, has countered, saying the government has an obligation to negotiate with public officers of the country.
“The Prime Minister is entitled as the Prime Minister and the Minister of finance to meet with public servants and to explain to public servants directly if he wishes, what are the plans of the government…and to explain to them the conditions of work…the financial condition of the country, the ability of the government to pay,” he said.
“The only obligation the government has is to negotiate with the public service union for salaries and other benefits but there’s is nothing in…the law or in the constitution…that prevents the Prime Minister from informing directly, the public servants, about the state of the economy, the country and what is that we plan do for them and for the country.”
Astaphan said he believes that General Secretary of the Union has not been acting honestly on behalf of the public servants and if he was the prime minister, he would “take it upon myself to inform them directly with facts which will disabuse the minds of any parties and politics.”
Letang explained that the Prime Minister has held two separate meetings with public officers.
“On Thursday march 23rd, the day that we held our widely publish rally with public officers the Prime Minister ordered all Junior clerks to a meeting with him to discuss all working conditions. Working conditions are discussed with public officers by the establishment personnel and training department not the Prime minister not any other minster of the government,” he said.
“On Tuesday the 23rd of April, he again called another meeting – this time, for senior clerks and executive officers – where he presented himself in our opinion, as both the employer and the union, discussing matters related to the appointment and other terms and conditions of work of public officers,“ the union official added.
He said no prime minister in our democracy has ever been the employer of public officers and has called for that action to be discontinued.
Regional authorities react to IMF’s positive statement on regional CIP programmes
9 hours ago
February 26, 2020
Regional Citizenship by Investment (CIP) countries are welcoming positive statements made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the impact of the CIP to the socio-economic structure of participating countries.
The IMF is remaining consistent in recognizing the programme as a significant contributor of revenues and it lauds the programme for assisting in reducing national debts, as well as its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product.
“The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s (ECCU) GDP growth accelerated to 3¾ percent in 2018, reflecting buoyant tourism and sizable Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) inflows, which helped support Dominica’s reconstruction-led recovery from the 2017 hurricane,” the IMF reports in its 2019 Staff Concluding Statement.
The report also stated that “The authorities’ ongoing collaboration on CBI programs’ financial integrity to improve their transparency and governance could help lower negative perceptions about the use of CBI programmes. Such collaboration could support region-wide sustainability of these flows and financial stability.”
Commenting on the statements from the IMF, the CEO of the Investment Migration Councils, Bruno L’ecuyer says that he is delighted that the IMF has recognized CIP programmes as a major socio-economic contributor to developing states.
“The liquidity injection to Caribbean economies creates significant societal and sovereign value. It helps to diversify the economies of those regions; it creates sustainable employment and eases the fiscal and monetary challenges that are faced by sovereign governments the world over,” Lecuyer stated.
From inception, the CIP has been at the centre of many discussions as developed countries debate concerns of the validity of such programmes. These negative global influences can deter potential investors and cause missed economic opportunities for participating countries. When positive counteractions are made by organisations, which are as prestigious as the IMF, it gives encouragement to CIP participating countries.
Dominica’s Thea LaFond makes history as first OECS woman to hit Tokyo 2020 mark
12 hours ago
February 25, 2020
The Commonwealth of Dominica has hopped, stepped, and jumped out to the forefront of the push for participation in the 2020 edition of the Olympic Games, with the islands’s top female triple jumper making the minimum standards for this year’s showcase.
Turning 26 in April, Thea LaFond reset her Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) women’s record in February, clearing 14.33 metres at the 2020 University of Albany Winter Classic Competition in New York. That mark puts the 1.73m-tall University of Maryland graduate in pole position to return to the Olympics, having previously competed at Rio 2016.